Oct. 7, 2016
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University's volleyball team returned to its winning ways with a 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 26-24) victory over visiting Providence in BIG EAST action on Friday night. The Hoyas improved to 6-13 on the season and 2-4 in league play.
Symone Speech (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) led the Hoyas with a match-high 19 kills while Ashlie Williams (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) and Alyssa Sinnette (Pearland, Texas/Dawson) added 12 and 10, respectively. Williams hit .458 in the match and committed only one hitting error all night. Paige McKnight (Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody) posted her ninth double-double of the season with 48 assists to go with a team-high 16 digs.
Georgetown was aggressive at the service line all night, racking up nine service aces in the match. McKnight, Sinnette and Sara Feld (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) all notched a pair of aces while Providence could only muster three total as a team.
Defensively, Kenzie Higareda (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park) collected 14 digs while Speech recorded five blocks at the net.
"We jumped off to really strong leads and were able take care of our side of the net in the sets we won," Georgetown Head Coach Arlisa Willilams said. "We started off in a hole in the set we lost and everyone in the BIG EAST is too good to try to climb out of that."
The Hoyas got off to a strong start in the first, opening the match on a 4-1 run. Georgetown would keep the lead in the frame until the Friars rallied mid-set to take their first lead at 16-15. A 5-3 run regained the lead for the Blue & Gray at 20-19 to force a PC timeout. Georgetown outscored its guests 5-2 the rest of the way, thanks in part to a pair of aces from Feld, to earn the 25-21 win.
In the second, Providence flipped the script and jumped out to an early lead of its own. With the Friars up 10-3, the Blue & Gray began to mount a comeback and force a Providence timeout down 13-8 courtesy of a 6-3 run. Not finished there, the Hoyas put together another 8-4 run later in the set to knot things up at 18-18 and again at 19-19. Georgetown's momentum wouldn't continue as Providence held on for the 25-22 set victory.
The Hoyas would right the ship in the third, posting an early 5-2 advantage and a 15-8 lead behind another 6-1 run. Providence would start to chip away at the lead from that point, pulling within two points down 20-18. Georgetown stood its ground and scored five of the last six points, the final two on kills from Speech, to seal the set 25-19.
Another 5-2 run to open the fourth frame put Georgetown in the driver's seat before the Friars began to mount a comeback. Determined to stay in the match, Providence took its first lead of the set at 14-13 and would lead by as many as three points, up 20-17. Four consecutive points from the Hoyas retook the lead 21-20 before eight ties and lead changes occurred over the next eight points. Tied 24-24, Williams put the match on her shoulders and recorded the final two points of the contest with kills in the middle.
"Ashlie has elevated her game to a different level this year," Coach Williams said of her senior middle blocker. "She's been highly efficient all season and tonight was just an exclamation point Ã¢â'¬" one of many."
Megan Onyundo led Providence with 15 kills while Kayla Fitzgerald added 12 and Cayla Clark chipped in 10. Fitzgerald also had a double-double with 10 digs on the night.
Georgetown returns to action on Saturday as it hosts league-leading Creighton on the Hilltop. First serve is set for 6 p.m. with live stats and a subscription-based webstream available at www.GUHoyas.com.